Swarm Season: Pests to Prepare For

a swarm of bugs outdoors at dusk

Springtime is one of the best times of the year for many people. The gloom of winter slowly fades and nature begins to wake up, spring flowers blooming and trees starting to bud. In addition to flowers emerging from the ground, many pests are also coming out of their winter hiding places.  As spring pests in Central TN come out of their hibernation, they will congregate in large groups or swarms looking for food, a mate or to find new places to nest. These large swarms of insects can be frustrating to deal with for many homeowners.

Common Swarming Pests in Tennessee

When dealing with large swarms of insects, it can be important to know what type of pest you are dealing with, especially when trying to determine whether you are seeing flying ants or termites. Below are some of the most common spring swarming pests and how to identify them:

  • Ants: Ants are known to swarm in the spring as they look for food and to establish new colonies. Carpenter ants are particularly dangerous to have swarming in your yard. They, like termites, will tunnel into the wooden structure of your home causing extensive damage if left untreated. Swarming ants have a thin waist, long legs and forewings that are much larger than the hindwings. 
  • Termites: Termites are common in Tennessee due to the warm, humid weather in the spring and are one of the most destructive insects to a home. They will burrow into and eat the wood of your home, often causing thousands of dollars in damage. You can easily identify a termite by its four large wings that are all the same size, long thick abdomen, and short legs. Seeing a termite in your home is most homeowners’ worst nightmare. If you see signs of termites, call an exterminator immediately.
  • Bees and Wasps:  Bees can be identified by their round black and yellow bodies. They will seek out open cavities to build their nests such as hollow trees, under sheds, in the eves of a home or even in your home’s siding. Carpenter bees will burrow into wood and damage the structure of your home, it is essential to take care of a carpenter bee swarm quickly.  Wasps will have a thin long body with a tiny waist. They will often build nests in trees or the eves of a home.
  • Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are common outdoor pests in the spring and summer. They are known for their bites that leave itchy red bumps on your skin. These small insects become more active in the spring as the females emerge from their winter hibernation and begin laying their eggs in areas with standing water.

Keeping Pests Out of Your Home and Yard

As the temperatures outside begin to rise, many people begin thinking about summer barbecues and enjoying time in their yards. Dealing with swarming pests while trying to spend time outside can be frustrating. Swarming pests are not just unpleasant, they can also cause damage or introduce unwanted bacteria into your home making it important to prevent swarming pests from entering your yard or home. Here are a few simple ways to keep swarming pests out of your yard and home.

  • Clean any crumbs and spills in your kitchen immediately.
  • Seal cracks and holes on the exterior of your home.
  • Close all doors and windows without screens.
  • Stack all of your firewood 20 feet away from your home and make sure it is elevated off of the ground.
  • Turn off outdoor lights when not needed.
  • Collect and dispose of yard waste such as leaves, grass clippings, and fallen fruit.
  • Eliminate any standing water and fix leaking faucets.
  • Clean up leftover food quickly after having meals outside. 

Spring Pest Control in Central TN

Spring is usually thought of as a time of renewal and happiness as the gloom of winter passes but dealing with swarming pests can be a nightmare. If you are tired of pests in your yard and home, contact the experts at The Bug Man today. We have been keeping homes pest free in Central TN for over 20 years. Our experienced technicians will be able to quickly and effectively eliminate any pest infestation. Contact us today for a free quote and learn more about our services!

Preventing Flying Termites in Your Home

Flying termites in Central TN - The Bug Man

Spring is welcomed by most of us here in Tennessee. Unfortunately, spring is also the time when insects of all types become more active after the winter. Worst of all, springtime is when termites begin to swarm. Flying termites, often confused for carpenter ants, will reproduce and swarm to form new colonies in new areas. This makes it imperative to be on the lookout for termite activity in the coming months.

At The Bug Man, we know how distressing a termite problem is for any property owner. Our experts are here to share everything you need to know to prevent flying termites in your home.

What Are Flying Termites?

Flying termites are the reproductive caste of termites and are also known as “swarmers” or “alates”. These termites leave their colonies in the spring and swarm until they find a new area, reproduce, and start a new colony. Flying termites can indicate an infestation around your home, so you should know how to identify them. Swarmers are black to brown in color and measure 3/8 inches long including the wings. They have translucent or slightly milky or smoky wings. These wings may overlap and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body.

Swarmers invade structures during spring, particularly around basement windows, doorways, porches, and anywhere wood comes into contact with soil. A termite infestation can cause severe damage to your home before you realize it. This is why preventative measures should be taken in order to keep them from showing up in the first place.

5 Tips to Keep Termite Swarmers Away

Every spring here in Tennessee, it’s important to be on the lookout for termites. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help prevent flying termites:

  • Routinely clean your yard of any rotting wood, trees, etc. Ensure your porch or deck is maintained.
  • Keep all mulch away from the foundation of your home.
  • Store all firewood above ground and away from the perimeter of your property.
  • Repair issues with your plumbing to avoid any leaks or moisture that could attract termites.
  • Work with a professional termite control expert to implement treatments that repel termites.

Preventing Flying Termites in Central TN

If you notice signs of termite swarmers or think you already have an active infestation, it’s time to contact your local termite control experts at The Bug Man. With regular inspections and preventative treatments, you can rest assured knowing swarmers won’t invade your property this spring.

Contact us today to get started!

Protect Your Firewood from Home Invading Pests

A subterranean termite found in Central TN - The Bug Man

As we head into winter, many of us look forward to getting cozy in front of a warm fireplace. Unfortunately, if you want to stay prepared to keep warm in the winter, you also have to stay prepared against inevitable pest problems that will develop without proper precautions. We have helped many people around Central TN get rid of pest problems in their house, in the process discovering that their firewood is the source of the problem. The Bug Man is here to teach you how to avoid pest problems caused by poor firewood management—read on to learn!

What Pests Infest Firewood?

Having insects in your firewood isn’t always a big deal. Boxelder bugs, earwigs, moths, some spiders, and more pests will do no more than become an annoyance when they decide to look for shelter in our woodpiles. However, there are a few insects that we have to be on the lookout for, those being:

These insects pose varying degrees of danger to your home. Of course, bees and wasps always come with the threat of stings, and even anaphylaxis in some. However, the first three pests listed can all cause damage to wooden structures, with termites being able to cause thousands of dollars in damage.

How to Keep Pests Out of Your Woodpile

In order to avoid a termite infestation or an outbreak of many other kinds of pests, there are a few precautions you must take. Here are The Bug Man’s best pieces of advice for woodpile pest prevention:

  1. Store firewood away from your house: The further away from your home you stash your firewood, the lesser the chance of a pest infestation. Many people lean their woodpiles against the outside of their home, only to find out that that has caused a pest infestation.
  2. Keep firewood covered and off of the ground: Since insects like termites and carpenter ants live in the soil, keeping your woodpile on the ground leaves destructive pests easy access to your home. Drape a tarp over your pile and keep it elevated however possible.
  3. Choose older wood first and burn it quickly: Older wood is more likely to be hosting pests, but if you take your wood straight to the fire, you shouldn’t have insects making their way out.

Need Pest Control Help this Winter?

If you suspect that your woodpile is causing pests to invade your home, talk to your local pest control program about your issues. The Bug Man’s team is trained to carry out exhaustive property inspections, leaving no stone (or log) unturned in the pursuit of pests. Don’t let pests take over your home this winter—contact us for a free quote today!

Termite Season is Once Again Knocking at the Door

Termite Season is Once Again Knocking at the Door

Termite season has officially started here in Murfreesboro TN. As soon as the weather warms up even a bit, termites become active. With our climate, termites are a problem for homeowners most of the year. Because they are such a dangerous pest problem, it’s crucial to learn what you need to do to prevent a termite infestation throughout the spring and summer months.

To help, the termite experts at The Bug Man are here to share all you need to know about termite season in our region. Read on to learn more!

The Start of Termite Season

When the weather breaks, the termites will begin to swarm. Swarming is when the new reproductive termites take flight looking for a new place to call home. The termite swarm will usually occur on a sunny, humid morning. Once the termites have swarmed, they find a mate, and attempt to return to the soil to begin a new life. Most of the swarming termites will die. If they swarm inside a house, they die. When they swarm outside, other predators such as birds, lizards, spiders, and other insects will dine on the termites.

How to Prevent Termites Throughout the Year

Many homeowners ask what they can do to protect their homes. The best way to stay protected against termite problems is to work with a professional termite exterminator. This ensures your home or business is inspected on a yearly basis for termites in order to stop an infestation before it begins. In addition, there are a number of things you can do to make your home less attractive to termites:

  1. Eliminate sources of standing water in or near the home and fix any moisture problems, such as a leaky faucet or broken water pipe.
  2. Ensure your yard has good drainage, avoid excess mulch, and clean out gutters regularly.
  3. Keep piles of lumber or firewood away from the foundation of your home, and eliminate any sources of decaying lumber.
  4. Regularly inspect your deck, patio, or outdoor furniture for signs of damage.
  5. Remove dead trees and branches from areas surrounding your yard.

 

Stop Termites This Year

Spring is the time termites swarm, so now is the time for an inspection! At The Bug Man, we will thoroughly check your home to seek out any vulnerabilities that could lead to a termite problem.

6 Factors That Put You At Risk For Termites

Termite identification in Murfreesboro TN; The Bug Man

Termites are a year-round pest problem for Tennessee residents. But what makes your home attractive to termites in the first place? Many people are under false pretenses that termites only infest wood. Unfortunately, there are many other factors at play that may put you at risk for an infestation. This Termite Awareness Week, the experts at The Bug Man are here to share all you need to know about what could unknowingly attract these destructive pests to your home. Read on to learn more!

Top Termite Risks Around Your Home

No matter what kind of home you live in, there are several things that could make you a hotspot for termite activity. Here are the top factors for termite infestations:

  1. Cellulose. Termites may be infamous for infesting wood, but they’re actually after the cellulose contained within! This cellulose is a main component that can be found in wallpaper, plants, mulch, drywall, and more.
  2. Moisture. Leaky pipes, broken sprinklers, or clogged gutters can all lead to moisture problems in your home. In turn, this could attract subterranean termites (not to mention hoards of other pests) inside.
  3. Access to soil. Subterranean termites need contact with soil to live. Any wood items, whether it’s your home, porch, or firewood in the yard, in contact with soil is at risk for a termite problem.
  4. Warmth. Termite problems are generally more common in warmer, humid parts of the world. This puts our Southern state at a higher risk of termite activity year-round.
  5. Decaying wood. If you have logs, trees, or stumps that are rotten or in decay, you can be sure termites will seek them out.
  6. Landscape. Termites can infest mulch, making it important to keep it away from the perimeter of your home. Also, trim back tree branches that may be too close to your property.

 

How to Protect Your Home From the Risk of Termites

Unsure if your property is vulnerable to termites? The best way to know if you are protected against termites is to work with a professional termite exterminator. A thorough home inspection will pinpoint anything in or around your property that could put you at risk for termites in the future.

When is termite season

When is termite season in central TN

When are termites active?  When is termite season?

Termites are reason for concern, and two of the most commonly asked questions we receive at The Bug Man office are: “When are termites active?” and “When is termite season?”.  In Tennessee, termites are actually active year-round.  We have found active termites in crawl spaces in the winter time when there has been snow on the ground.  Yeah, pretty funny… snow on the ground in middle Tennessee? Ha! That hardly ever happens.  The termites may not be as active, or active outside in the mulch when the ground turns cold but, with our heated homes, the crawl spaces stay warm enough to sustain termite activity year round.

Most people become aware of termite activity during termite swarm season.  In middle Tennessee, this generally occurs in the spring time, between March and May.  This is the time of year when you see the alate termites (the winged termites) emerging from the walls, floors, and ceilings of homes.  Swarm season is The Bug Man’s busiest time for termite work because most homeowners are calling in with sightings of the termite swarmers.  Most swarming termites will die after swarming, as they become a food source for birds, lizards, and other insects and spiders.  And the termites that swarm indoors all die if they are unable to return to the soil in short order after locating a suitable mate.

Termite swarmers are not the termites that homeowners need to fear, but they are a great indicator that you have an infestation.  The termite colony consists of termite workers that consume the cellulose in wood and feed the rest of the colony.  These are the termites that cause the damage to structures.  Our treatments are designed to target and eliminate the colony of termites and protect the structure from future attacks.  The Bug Man treatment of choice is Termidor HE.  Termidor has been proven to last for over 15 years in studies, and we are able to offer a 20 year renewable warranty with our treatments.

When should I have my home inspected?

The Bug Man recommends having a termite inspection every 12-18 months.  Termite inspections can be completed year round in Tennessee.  During this inspection our certified technicians will inspect all accessible areas for evidence of termites.  We inspect for termite shelter tubes, tunnels, exit holes, wood debris in crawl spaces, and other conducive conditions that can lead to a future termite infestation.  Even with a complete inspection, it is still possible that a structure can have a termite infestation that goes undetected.  Termites can gain entry behind brick, through block, travel behind walls and under floors.  Many of these spaces are not accessible during a visual inspection.  Many times, even the professional must wait until there are visible signs of damage before we are able to locate an active termite infestation.  This is the reason that we recommend treatments on homes even when there is not a current visible sign of termites.  Termite treatment is one of the maintenance requirements of home ownership.  Once a home is under a termite protection treatment and warranty, we continue to perform yearly inspections to ensure the home remains termite free.

The Bug Man offers a free termite inspection and quote for Termidor HE Termite Protection.  Our certified technicians will provide a detailed written report of findings and quote for Termidor HE Termite Protection Protection.  Our goal at The Bug Man is to educate and provide the findings of our inspection so you have all the tools necessary to make a decision on how best to protect your home.

Termite Activity Found in Murfreesboro, TN

When is termite season in central TN

The Bug Man found termite activity in Murfreesboro and surrounding areas.

Termite season is in full swing here in Murfreesboro and surrounding areas.  Most of the calls we are fielding  this week are in regards to active termite swarms.  We have had calls from Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Smyrna, Rockvale, and Murfreesboro.  The termites are swarming now that the weather is warming up, the humidity is high, and the sun is beginning to shine.  Termites swarm in order to establish a new colony.  When the termites swarm and leave the existing colony, they fly towards the sunlight in search of a mate.  If the termites swarm outside, they will drift in the wind, land, break off their wings, locate a mate, and return back into the soil to begin a new colony.  But, the termites that swarm inside will usually fly towards windows and other light sources.  They will all die if they are unable to find a mate and return to soil.  When this happens, most homeowners will usually find the swarmer termites and wings around the windows, doors, or lights.  This is an indication that an inspection and  treatment is needed.  Here is a photo of termite shelter tubes that our technician found in a crawl space at a house in Christiana that had an active termite swarm on Friday.

Swarming termites are not the biggest concern

The swarming termites are not the real problem in a home, it is the worker termites hidden inside the walls that concern us.  They are the ones that feed on the cellulose (wood) of your home and cause the damage.  The worker termites are responsible for building the tunnels, feeding the colony, and all of the general duties of the colony,  The workers are the termites that get the work done!  But the swarming termites are definitely a sign that you have a problem!  When you see the termite swarmers, it is time to call The Bug Man.  When our trained technicians arrive on site, they will inspect the home, note their findings, review the information with the property owner, answer any questions, and provide a solution for the termite infestation.  The Bug Man uses Termidor HE for all of our termite treatments.  Termidor has been proven as the best termite solution in the industry, and that is why The Bug Man has teamed up with the makers of  Termidor, BASF.

 

What Pests Eat When They Are In Your House: A Food Chain Factoid

What Pests Eat When They Are In Your House

Have you ever stopped to wonder what bugs eat? You know you see ants in your kitchen from time to time, but what are they after? And what in the world do spiders think they can find inside your house? What’s so delicious about hanging out in the corners of your rooms?

 

Here’s a quick food chain factoid for what pests eat when they are in your house!

 

 

Crickets: Fabrics, especially those full of perspiration

Cockroaches: Sweets, cheeses, meats, grease, and starches. Vegetables and fruits. Household items like leather, beer, glue, dried skin, books, paper, human dander, and a lot more

Brown Recluse Spiders: Other bugs, like cockroaches and crickets

Black Widow Spiders: Their mates! (Actually, that’s a myth. They don’t eat their mates). But they do eat other insects.

Carpenter Bees: Wood! Nope. They actually don’t eat wood. They just bore into wood to lay their eggs. They eat pollen.

Ants: Sweets, eggs, oils, and fats

Bed Bugs: You. They feast on you for a blood meal. They will also dine on animals.

 

Fruit Flies: Decaying fruits and vegetables

House Flies: Liquids. They can also turn solids into liquids and then eat the liquid form of that food.

Silverfish: Paper, glue, clothing, flour, and oats

House Centipedes: Flies, spiders, and plant tissue

Fleas: Cats, dogs and humans

Rodents: Grains, fruits, seeds, chocolate, random items in your trashcan

Termites: Cellulose: A polysaccharide consisting of long unbranched chains of linked glucose units: the main constituent of plant cell walls and used in making paper, rayon, and film

After reading this diverse list of what pests eat, it makes a lot of sense that they’d look for food inside your home. To keep pests out, call The Bug Man. You can reach us by phone at 615.217.7284 or find us online at Facebook.com/TheBugManTN orTwitter.com/TheBugManTN.

Free Termite Inspection Helps Homeowners Protect Their Homes

Termite Inspection Helps Homeowners Protect Their Homes

The best things in life are free. Protecting your home from termites is one of the best things you can do! And, in the case of our termite inspections, it’s also free!

We receive numerous calls from people in the Murfreesboro, Smyrna, La Vergne, Christiana, Rockvale, and Lebanon area about termites. A lot of the people who call are surprised that we offer a free termite inspection. They ask us why we would freely provide that service.

Our technician prepares to inspect for termites.

Our answer to that oft-asked question is this: We want to help you protect your home and we want to give you the education and resources you need to protect your home.

If you have any questions about our termite options, please call us at 615-217-7284, follow us on Facebook, or tweet us on Twitter.

Why do I still see bugs after The Bug Man treats my home

Technician finds bed bugs in bedding with a flashlight | The Bug Man serving Smyrna, TN

Pest control is a sophisticated science. Using fun examples from Nintendo’s Mario Kart, learn about the reason we’re able to offer a warranty on our services.

Attention Homeowners Hosting for the Holidays:
If you’re noticing the beginning of an ant invasion, please call us as soon as possible so our products have time to take full effect. Because of the biology of ants, it may take a few days for their invasive colony to be wiped out. Please, read on for more…

 

King BooBugs are bootastic! You don’t want them in your house, but they show up anyway. You call The Bug Man, but sometimes the bugs still remain after a few days, even after a treatment is done. What gives?

Biology. It’s all about biology.

Believe it or not, pest control is a sophisticated science. Products are created to fulfill different purposes. Some products kill things immediately but don’t last very long. Other products take longer to eliminate the bugs, yet last a long time. And, still others use a combination.

Toad

To illustrate–and have some fun–let’s think of this in terms of Mario Kart.   Yes, Mario Kart.

Some products work like Toad. They take off almost instantly. Others work like Donkey Kong. It takes a bit to get that fella going, but once he’s moving, it’s hard to stop him.

When it comes to killing ants and termites, we use products that have a high residual and a transfer effect. Translation: We use products that are going to last a while, and will kill the pests over time. The ants and termites walk through the products or eat the bait, and then they transfer the poison to their colonies. Then they will die off gradually. That’s how we’re able to offer you a warranty.

This high residual and transfer effect explains why you may still see ants in your kitchen up to 10 days after we came out to your house. It’s not that what we did in treating your house failed. It’s just that the product is rollin’ around your house like Donkey Kong, bustin’ upon those pests!

If you still see a lot of pest activity 10 days after we’ve treated your home, please give us a call at 615.217.7284. We’re pleased as Punch Brothers to come back and scope out the situation. Our One-Time Pest Control comes with a 45-day re-treatment guarantee. And our Quarterly Pest Control service is guaranteed in-between visits.